Of all of the qualities that contribute to a healthy, happy marriage, love is often foremost on nearly every person’s list. This speaks volumes about the power of love and what it can do to help maintain a relationship.
Love is what usually turns a good partnership into a great one; love can turn lovers into best friends.
The importance of love in marriage is nearly endless. After all, marriage is not always an easy arrangement. Without love, you would never be able to have the drive, attention, selflessness, and patience it takes to make your relationship a lasting success.
Let’s look at the role of love in marriage and how it benefits individual and relationship health.
What is love in marriage?
Love and marriage should ideally go hand in hand as love is often the glue that holds a marriage together. It can enhance the bond that you and your partner share.
Various life experiences shape the type of love that you experience. The happier a marriage, the more healthy your love will be. But if your marriage has unresolved toxicity, the love too will be toxic.
Furthermore, romantic love as the basis for marriage is often not enough. It must usually also include sexual love, friendship and compatibility to make it truly successful.
A marriage without love can often crumble as your frustration with the situation might deteriorate your health and relationship. It may lead you to act out that damage your marriage by acting out in rage or even cheating.
What does love look like?
Love looks like different things, depending on what phase of life you are in and what it adds to your life.
You might wonder why is love so important? What makes it so special?
Love can look like beautiful sunshine that lights up every area of your life in a rosy hue. It can give you a positive perspective that helps you deal with things better.
However, love can also look like a terrible thing when you are in a marriage with various unresolved issues. These can cast a shadow on everything you do and add to your troubles.
A loving marriage can add to your life in significant ways. It can impact your outlook on things, feelings, and even your health.
Have a look at the various benefits of love listed below to understand how love can make your marriage and personal life more meaningful;
1. Elevates happiness
Love promotes happiness. Say what you will about being free and independent; there is simply nothing like the comfort and security of knowing that you are cared for.
When you are in love, your body releases dopamine, a chemical released in the “Reward Center” of the brain. It’s no surprise then that dopamine makes you feel appreciated, happy, rewarded, and fosters positive emotions.
Love also promotes the spike in the hormone cortisol. While this is usually associated with being a “Stress Hormone,” in the case of falling in love, cortisol doesn’t make you feel anxious but is responsible for those butterflies in your stomach, excitement, and overwhelming passion you get when you are in the throes of new love.
Some studies even suggest that your dopamine levels may remain elevated as you grow out of puppy love and into mature love.
Regular sexual activity with your loving partner can benefit your immune system. Married couples have lower rates of depression, substance abuse, and lower blood pressure than their unmarried counterparts.
Heart disease is also more common for those who live alone than those who are married.
3. Increases financial security
Two are better than one, especially in the case of your bank account! Married partners are more likely to experience financial security and accumulate more wealth over time than those who are single or divorced.
Having two incomes gives couples financial stability, which can lower stress, reduce debt, and allow flexibility in the marriage if one partner can only work part-time or wishes to stay home to care for children or other responsibilities.
4. Cultivates respect
What is the most important thing in marriage? Love and respect.
Respect is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Without respect, love and trust cannot grow. You know that your words, thoughts, and feelings are valued when you feel respected. You can trust freely when respect is shown.
The importance of respect and love in marriage also includes emotional support. When you have a partner, who values your opinions and treats you well, you are more capable of being vulnerable and confiding in them.
Emotional support positively affects mental health and overall relationship and self-happiness.
5. Better quality sleep
Another aspect of the importance of love in marriage? Blanket-hogs and snore-hounds aside, you will sleep better when you are spooning with the love of your life.
Studies show that couples who slept next to one another had lower cortisol levels, slept more soundly, and fell asleep quicker than those who slept alone. This is the reason why love is important in a marriage.
6. Reduces stress
The importance of love in marriage can also benefit your mental health. Studies suggest that loneliness can damage your health and can even activate pain centers in your brain. ‘
Love and sex are amazing at warding off stress and anxiety. This is done in part by the release of the bonding hormone oxytocin. This ‘love drug’ is responsible for the attachment felt after touching someone you love, whether it’s something as intimate as having sex or as sweet as holding hands.
Oxytocin also lowers stress levels and balances your neurochemicals, causing anxiety and stress to melt away.
Watch this video to learn how to reduce stress through breathing exercises:
7. Makes you live longer
Couples grow old more gracefully than singles, says one University of Missouri study. The research done by the Department of Human Development and Family Studies found that, regardless of age, those in happy marriages rated their health as higher than their unmarried counterparts.
Another benefit to being happily married? Not only are you statistically more likely to live longer than unhappy singles, but being single, as revealed in this study, was the most significant predictor of premature mortality.
A married couple’s long lifespans are thought to be influenced by the emotional, social, and financial support received from being part of a ‘couple.’ For example, married spouses are also more likely to have access to medical care.
A Harvard study revealed that married men live longer than men who are divorced or have never been married. This is thought to be because married men tone down their lifestyle (such as drinking, fighting, and taking unnecessary risks) once they are in a committed relationship.
8. Enhances your connection
A healthy sexual connection is part of love in marriage, not only because it feels great to be close to your partner in this way, but because it chemically bonds you together.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘love drug,’ Oxytocin is a hormone responsible for bonding that is released when you are touching your partner. It naturally enhances love, self-esteem, feelings of trust, and optimism.
The importance of love in marriage is endless. It brings health benefits, a closer bond, an improved sex life, and reduces life’s daily stress and anxieties. Without love, you and your partner could not be able to enjoy a happy, healthy relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.